California, here we come.

Do you remember that episode of I Love Lucy where Lucy and Ricky, Fred and Ethel, pack up the car and drive across the country? (My mom and I used to watch that show when I was just a little mite. I can still watch two minutes of any episode and tell you which one it is, with frightening accuracy.) Of course, the liberation came after suffering — they each tried to pack that jalopy with a hundred different suitcases and a pair of conga drums, in different configurations, with two inches of open windshield for a cross-country drive. (And to be honest, that’s a bit what our lives feel like right now.) Still, after all the comedic turns and impossibilities, they were on the road. With a terribly obvious backdrop of a New York bridge behind them, in a car that bopped from side to side as they pretended to drive, the four of them burst into song. California, here I come. Right back where I started from….

Well, yes.

We are on a plane to Oakland as I write this. Life being what it is, there just hasn’t been any time to tell you about our plans. The last two nights, I taught a class at PCC called Say Yes to Gluten-Free. They were joyful and funny, another chance for community. (And on Tuesday, I’ll be teaching another one, at the West Seattle location.) We were on Seattle television the other day, a local show called Northwest Afternoon. A blast, to be sure, and it flashed past us in a blur. (This is why I was up at 6:45 in the morning two days after I returned from Chicago, making cookies.) Everything feels a little like a blur, at the moment. We’re both ready for a longer breath, a chance to be at home.

But not yet. Because our clearest emotion at the moment is excitement. “We’re going to San Francisco!” we said all morning, as we packed — clothes flying, coffee downed.

We’re almost there.

I’ve only been in the Bay Area a handful of times in my life. My main memory of San Francisco is the time I was ten, stuffed into the back of a neon-green VW rabbit, along with my brother and a cousin, as we wound our way down Lombard Street. (I’m hoping to avoid that on this trip.) I remember eating apricot chicken in a Moroccan restaurant during a weekend visit with Gabe, while a woman belly danced before us. There was a crazy cab ride from the airport to an anonymous hotel the summer I turned 16. My family and I spent three days in that hotel, for an orientation from the Fulbright agency, before we traipsed off to London for an exchange year. Mostly, I remember looking out at the white crosses in an enormous cemetery, while I clutched the door handle as we careened around corners, thinking, “Please don’t let me wind up there!”

I’m thinking we’re going to have more vivid memories of San Francisco after this weekend. Most of them will probably be born from good food.

Should you wish to join us in some food and laughter in the next few days, here is where the Chef and I are going to be.

Thursday, November 8

Crave Bakery makes amazing gluten-free desserts. Cameo and her team will be making treats for everyone. Have a glass of wine. It’s a party.

This is a reservation-only party, at 7:30 pm, so please call right now for a reservation.

415.826.7187

Friday, November 9

Book Passage in the Ferry Building — 2 to 3:30 pm

The Chef and I will be hanging out in the cafe, ready to talk and laugh, and sign some books. (Formal signings/readings were booked months before Book Passage started this process, but they have been gracious enough to let us use the space.)

Come on by for a meet and greet. Or a cup of coffee.

Saturday, November 10

Have you had a Mariposa gluten-free biscotti?

If not? Oh my goodness, you are in for a treat.

We’ll be at Mariposa, from 1 to 4 pm, dipping biscotti in coffee and signing books. Come on by.

mariposa baking
5427 telegraph ave, unit d3
oakland, ca 94609
tel: 510.595.0955

Monday, November 12

When I told our friend Tea that we were having a party at Cav, she was impressed. “That place is swanky!” she said.

Cav Wine Bar is throwing a fabulous, sophisticated wine party in honor of the book. Did you ever imagine a gluten-free life like this?

The shindig starts at 7 pm.

Come on out and party. It will be our last night in San Francisco. We’d love to see you.

Executive Chef, Michael Lamina, is preparing some gluten-free food to be enjoyed by all.

$25 fee, including wine and gluten free snacks

1666 Market Street (between Franklin and Gough)
415.437.1771

And of course, if you have suggestions of places we should eat, dairies we should visit, and little spots that we simply must visit? Write away!

California, here we come.

28 comments on “California, here we come.

  1. La Niña

    Hey Guys–
    Don’t forget Bourbon & Branch. Make a reservation to get the password.

    Cheers!
    –xo-Nina

  2. Daphne

    I’m here in the Bay Area and have lots of recommendations!!

    For the best cheese/dairy, you should go to Cowgirl Creamery (in Point Reyes), which is a bit of a haul but a wonderful side trip if you can manage it. You can sample their cheese at the ferry building. Try the Red Hawk. Wow.

    For excellent fancy vegan food (I bet they’d do gluten-free in a heartbeat for you, and yes, the vegan food is really THAT good) try: Millennium Restaurant

    http://www.millenniumrestaurant.com

    There are SO MANY terrific places, if you need a recommendation, feel free to email me at girlcat24@yahoo.com

    –Daphne in Alameda

  3. EB

    Welcome to SF Shauna! We are happy to have you! If I can sneak away from work tomorrow I’ll hit up the Ferry to meet you and Chef!

  4. chris

    My husband’s grandmother swore by Yank Sing for Dim Sum–you really can’t argue with a 94-year old Chinese lady.

  5. Sam

    CAV doesn’t serve cocktails — it’s a wine bar! Please can you post the time of the party?

    Thanks

  6. Diane

    I’ll see you at Mariposa!

    I second Yank Sing…it’s excellent for dim sum (as are Ton Kiang and Restaurant Peony). Cowgirl Creamery is excellent as well. I also like Plouf for mussels, Viks in Berkeley for the best dosas this side of Chennai (dosas only on weekends I think), and of course the Saturday farmers market at the Ferry Building — it isn’t a tourist attraction for nothing!

  7. nicole

    The Ferry Building Farmers’ Market, bien sur … and Pt Reyes, though it’s an hour drive from the city. Totally worth it, however, for the cheese and just for being there in all its wonderousness. Oh — and get a Blue Bottle coffee, which is sold at the market and at a little stand in Hayes Valley. Enjoy :)

  8. nm

    Cowgirl creamery is what I was going to suggest. If I could be in the Bay Area on a Friday, I would get thee to Oakland and enjoy the Oakland Farmer’s Market and then a perusal of Rattos Grocery.

    Yum.

    Berkeley farmer’s market is nice on Saturday, but Oakland has way more cool ethnic stuff.

    Have fun.

    Oh, of course, you could to go to Chez Panisse, but my last meal there was meh.

    nm

  9. Kristin

    I will second the suggestion of Millenium, simply because it was the most amazing VEGAN meal I could ever imagine ! I am not even a vegan … but I was amazed at the creativity of the food and at how delicious it was !!

    You will have a BLAST in the Ferry building — the cowgirl creamery is awesome, there is also a caviar place that’s a lot of fun, and everyone always raves about The Slanted Door for vietnamese cuisine, also in the Ferry Building, I think. There is so much food-related amazing stuff in the Ferry building … it’s heaven. You can also hop a ferry from there to Sausalito, a quick and inexpensive trip across the Bay (great views !!)

    Have a BLAST ! If I wasn’t already working all weekend, I’d drive right up there and see you !

  10. Diane

    Oh yes — how could I forget the Slanted Door (and you will be right there at Ferry Building). They have an amazing crab with rice noodles and a great caramelized catfish. And that Vietnamese coffee. Mmmmmmmmm.….There’s not usually a lot of trouble getting in at lunch either.

  11. dc365

    I am still having dreams of the caramel ice cream at BiRite Creamery. Lucious, caramel, melting-too-quickly, sticky sweet dreams.

  12. Anonymous

    If you’re in the vicinity of Hayes Street and in search of a cocktail, try the bar at Absinthe Brasserie (398 Hayes). Liqueur bottles of all colors, shapes and sizes are arranged on shelves in a large window across from the zinc bar, and the light shines through them beautifully. Better still, the drinks are very well made. My French 75 came with wonderful brandied cherries…
    Hope you have fun!
    Anna

  13. excelsior

    You may wish to visit Knudsen’s Ice Creamery in Castro Valley — Mom and & Pop owned (though not by the Knudsens anymore) they also have great, old-school candy they make themselves.

    Fenton’s gets all the spotlight but Knudsen’s ice cream is good and isn’t as loud or annoying. And did I mention the candy counter?

    icecreamery.net

  14. amri

    I don’t know about Millenium, but you should definitely go to Cafe Gratitude–my husband the chef, is a manager at the one at 20th and Harrison–vegan, mostly raw, organic. In fact, if you go tonight or tomorrow, during the day, he’ll be there–he’s the cute manager with black hair. What else? For the most amazing Japanese food in a quirky atmosphere, try Minako–17th and Mission–run by Judy and cooked by her mom Yoko–the most magical food ever–organic, homemade pickles, especially the 10 year old ume–you’ve never had anything so amazing. Or Bar Bambino around the corner on 16th St. east of Mission–great Italian food–homemade cured meats, amazing cheese, Italian wine. If you go to Point Reyes, don’t miss stopping at the roadside oyster stands–Hog Island’s the best. I think I’ll mosey over to the Ferry Building this afternoon…

  15. Lesley

    Welcome back to the Bay Area…so many recommendations that it’s hard to know where to start, but here are just a few.…

    In the East Bay:
    - The Cheeseboard: It’s a Berkeley institution…a huge selection of cheeses and housemade breads (including gluten-free).
    - Across the way from Cheeseboard on Cedar Street is Gregoire, a great little hideaway with delicious sandwiches and the best potato puffs you’ll find.
    - in Rockridge (in Oakland), you should swing by Ici, which is a fantastic creamery. Owned by an Chez Panisse alum–their flavors are fantastic.
    - Oliveto (also in Rockridge): lovely restaurant, with some of the best house-made charcuterie.
    - 4th Street in Berkeley: cute shops and another fantastic ice creamery called Sketch > husband and wife team making small-production amounts of seasonal flavors and they use Straus Milk.
    - for pure vegetable/fruit heaven, should also go to Berkeley Bowl or Monterey Market–both of which source amazing array of local produce. Both are also East Bay institutions.

    In SF:
    - I second the Bi-Rite Creamery down in the Mission > my personal favorite is the ginger ice cream.
    - While you’re in the Mission, Mexican food is also in order
    - Second the Ferry Building on a Saturday–it’s ofen a zoo but worth it. Fatted Calf has amazing meat products and swing by June Taylor for beautiful/amazing preserves that you can take home as gifts.

    Other:
    - If you make it to Napa, definitely worth going to Ubuntu–a delicious vegetarian restaurant–they source from their own garden and the husband/wife team both came from Manresa.

  16. p in SF

    I second BiRite Creamery! Where else can you have Sam’s sundae which is chocolate ice cream, bergamot olive oil and sea salt! Plus it’s near Dolores Park which has such great views of downtown SF. I also suggest a macchiato at Blue Bottle (worth the likely wait in line, in my opinion) and a trip to the gorgeous Miette candy store in Hayes Valley.

  17. Rachael

    Not that it is related to food, but one of my favorite things in San Francisco are the Bison in Golden Gate park. Silly, but true. I used to live right near the paddock, and would run by there early in the morning when the mist was thick. It is so lovely.

  18. Rosiecat

    Hi Shauna,

    I’ve been enjoying your book this week since Amazon dropped off my smiling box on Monday. Congratulations! It’s wonderful. The book is more of a memoir/autobiography than I was expecting, but it’s great. For some reason, I was expecting it to be heavier on the recipes and lighter on the stories. I have to share your story with my sister-in-law, as I am wondering if she might have celiac disease.

    Thanks for the recent post about different types of flours. I am excited about trying some new things with old recipes, using your suggestions for alternative flours. I LOVE the idea of using nut flours in baked goods; I think it will bump up the nutritional content and add a delicious nutty taste as well. I’m thinking of making almond-flavored blondie bars by replacing the cocoa powder with almond flour and substituting white chocolate for semisweet chocolate. Hurray for experimentation!

    Again, congratulations. I love your story.

  19. Leah

    Oh! I was going to be in the Bay Area for a few days doing research this week, but I won’t be there until next weekend. I would have loved to meet you and The Chef. What a shame. Next time!

    Have a wonderful time, and enjoy all these fantastic suggestions. I’m also fond of T.Rex BBQ and Fonda Solana, as well as Bar Cesar. The Bar Cesar fried potatoes and herbs with aioli… oh dear.

    However, what you must do — must must must — is walk with The Chef, hand in hand, at the Berkeley Marina, just before sunset. Drive down almost to the end, then walk around the path. If it’s a clear day, you’ll see all of San Francisco perched on the other side of the bay like a little gem. After living in the Bay Area for 8 1/2 years, I can still say it’s my very favorite place to go.

  20. Delilah

    Shauna,

    I enjoyed meeting you at book passage. I went home and inhaled your book in one sitting! Okay, almost one because I did break to eat. And, I discovered it is not possible to eat an artichoke and read a book at the same time! I hope the rest of your time in SF was wonderful. All the best, Delilah

  21. cyberprof

    Shauna, I hope you are having a good Bay Area trip. My sister-in-love (sister-in-law, whom I love) lives there and is being tested for celiac this week.

    I’m sorry I missed the party at The Chef’s restaurant on Monday. My parents have promised to take me there for my (late) birthday, as my birthday was right after diagnosis and I didn’t know where to go!

    I’m having pizza again for lunch today from your recipe and I am so happy to have found that recipe in your book! I have been looking for a good recipe ever since diagnosis. Thanks again!

    ~Laura

  22. Mary Lou Foley

    Dear Shauna,
    I’ve been reading your site for over a year, ever since i went gluten free. I just finished reading you book. I have to say it is beyond enjoyable reading for people on a gluten free diet. You are a terrific writer and anyone would enjoy reading it! I have to tell you, at one point I had to go out into the kitchen to get some of my home made gluten free bread, olive oil and a glass of wine.…reading your book was making my mouth water!!
    I live way over here in Massachusetts so you probably won’t be visiting us on your book tour. If I ever get out your way, I am definitely stopping by the restaurant. After reading your book, I made a new committment to being gluten free.…I had kind of slacked here and there and didnt realize i was paying for it by feeling tired and achy. That was three weeks ago and i have never felt so good. Thanks for the inspiration. By the way, I also just read the book “The Gluten Connection” and it really brings together all the latest research and explanations of how it affects our bodies, etc. It made me realize I had to be more diligent. I recommend anyone to give it to your loved ones who don’t understand what the heck you are talking about. Personally I wish more doctors would read it. I am making my husband read it too.

  23. HStrang

    Shauna,

    You are rockin’ it! Thanks for the link to Crave Bakery’s website. Makes me want to get on a plane to San Fran right now. Luckily, they sell products here in Portland, which I have not tried. Going to Whole Foods tomorrow to check it out. Thanks again!

    Also, I posted to my blog about your fabulous book last week and forgot to send you the link: http://heatherstrangnowds.blogspot.com.

    Happy Travels!
    Heather :)

  24. Vanessa

    Oh I’m so jealous… Husband and I were there for our honeymoon just over 2 months ago… Absolute bliss… we will always remember our shack perched on top of the San Remo hotel in North Beach. It’s their penthouse but it’s actually a wooden room on the flat roof, with decking and jasmine and the sounds of San Francisco.… God I wish I was there instead of rainy Dublin.…

  25. BREEYAG

    any “Mexican hole in the wall stays open late at night” on mission would be amazing! They definitely have enough options, and if you like spicy, it is definitely that!

  26. w.t.h.t.w.

    where is that Ethiopian cafe in seattle you were talking about??? I must know. Were leaving for seattle in two days.